Saturday, September 22

Twinkle

- February 18, 2018

Twinkle is a piece of LGBT history, a gay man from an era when being gay was a clandestine affair, an age of dangerous liaisons in public toilets, of shame and of lies. Twinkle is his nickname and theatre is his life or at least pantomime is, and pantomime dame.

This is a well conceived and well written piece, peppered with humour, side splitting stuff, peppered with regret too and all seasoned with a moving bitterness. It has some of the funniest lines I have heard on a stage in some time “three shades of Pan Stick short of Showboat”.

But all this is as nothing if it is not delivered by a performer who can make the character work. Delivered in two solo 40 minutes slices Jason Sutton (AKA Miss Jason) more than does it justice, he raises it to the status of brilliant.

There’s a balance of gentle, calm resignation to his performance balanced with indignant anger at the injustices he has suffered, He has the skill, some no doubt built on personal experience, to play the part of a gay man who has been abused and oppressed – but despite all this he is able to dish the self-deprecating humour and wicked one liners that became the stock in trade of the greatest pantomime dames.

Alan Cardew must also be praised for his sensitive direction of a piece that in lesser hands could so easily decline into camp farce.

Jason Sutton has made this piece work on a level that no-one could have expected, a real and dramatic performance based on theatrical skill and not solely on his, albeit brilliant, drag persona.

The play itself ends in triumphant revenge, not the club, but that thing that we all know is best served cold.

The Phil Starr Pavilion B Right On Festival

17 February

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★★




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